Large projects push building permits value to €1.55 billion

The value of building permits spiked by an annual 46% in January – September 2018 to €1.55 billion owing to rise in large projects, according to data released on Tuesday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).
 
The number of building permits issued in the period of January – September 2018 amounted to 4.702 marking an increase of 9.38% compared with 4.281 permits issued in the respective period of 2017.
 
According to Cystat, the largest increase was recorded in the value of large project which spiked by 78% to €0.97 billion compared with €0.53 billion in the respective period of 2017. The number of permits for large projects rose by 61.4% to 394 while the area of these permits rose by 50% to 681.128 square metres.

Building permits for small projects for the period of January – September 2018 rose by 6.71% to 4,308 compared with 4,037 in the respective period of 2017.

In September the number of building permits authorized by the municipal authorities and the district administration offices during September 2018 stood at 588.

The total value of these permits reached €160.2 million and the total area 155,2 thousand square metres. These building permits provide for the construction of 576 dwelling units.

Building permits constitute a leading indicator of future activity in the construction sector.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Large projects push building permits value to €1.55 billion

The value of building permits spiked by an annual 46% in January – September 2018 to €1.55 billion owing to rise in large projects, according to data released on Tuesday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).
 
The number of building permits issued in the period of January – September 2018 amounted to 4.702 marking an increase of 9.38% compared with 4.281 permits issued in the respective period of 2017.
 
According to Cystat, the largest increase was recorded in the value of large project which spiked by 78% to €0.97 billion compared with €0.53 billion in the respective period of 2017. The number of permits for large projects rose by 61.4% to 394 while the area of these permits rose by 50% to 681.128 square metres.

Building permits for small projects for the period of January – September 2018 rose by 6.71% to 4,308 compared with 4,037 in the respective period of 2017.

In September the number of building permits authorized by the municipal authorities and the district administration offices during September 2018 stood at 588.

The total value of these permits reached €160.2 million and the total area 155,2 thousand square metres. These building permits provide for the construction of 576 dwelling units.

Building permits constitute a leading indicator of future activity in the construction sector.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Cyprus' GDP grows by 3.7% in Q3

 

GDP growth rate in real terms, during the third quarter of 2018, is estimated at 3.7% over the corresponding quarter of 2017, according to data released on Friday by the Statistical Service of Cyprus.

Based on seasonally and working day adjusted data, GDP growth rate in real terms is also estimated at 3.7%.

The increase of the GDP growth rate is mainly attributed to the sectors: "Hotels and Restaurants", "Retail and Wholesale Trade", "Construction", "Manufacturing", "Transport and Storage", "Professional, scientific and technical activities" and "Administrative and support service activities".

The negative growth rate was recorded by the sector "Financial and Insurance Activities".

 

Source: Stockwatch

Housing loans rates decline to a new low

Interest rates for house purchase declined to a new historic low in October, according to data released by the Central Bank of Cyprus, concerning the interest rates on new deposit and loan contracts.

Furthermore, interest rates for consumer credit and interest rate for deposits with agreed maturity up to one year also declined to new historic lows.

Moreover, new lending increased by €28.5 million in October compared to September amounting to €292.1 million.

Concerning deposits, interest rates for deposits with agreed maturities up to one year, declined to 0.54% in October from 0.62% the previous month, marking a new all-time low.

The corresponding rate for deposits from non-financial corporations declined to 0.75% compared with 0.83% in the previous month.

On lending rates, interest rates for consumer credit declined to 3.48% in October compared with 3.60% the previous month.

Lending rate for house purchase declined to a new all-time low amounting to 2.26% in October, compared with 2.37% in the previous month.

Rates for loans to non-financial corporations for amounts up to €1 million declined to 3.49% from 3.52% in the previous month, while rates for corporate loans above €1 million declined to 3.26% in October from 3.62% in the previous month.

According to the CBC, new loans in October amounted to €292.1 million compared with €263.6 million in the previous month, mainly due to the rise in loans for house purchase and to the corporate loans above €1 million.

Consumer loans increased in October to €13.3 million compared with €10.8 million the previous month. New loans for house purchase rose to €69.2 million compared with €58.9 million in the September.

New corporate lending up to €1 million amounted to €43.5 million in October compared with €43.1 million the previous month, while new corporate loans above €1 million amounted to €144.8 million compared with €131.8 million in September.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive in Cyprus

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Akrotiri shortly after 2 pm on Wednesday.

The couple will show their support for military personnel who will be spending the festive season away from their families.

The Duke and Duchess will officially open the Oasis Centre at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, which is a new relaxation area for personnel when they aren’t on shift.

On Tuesday the royal couple hosted a Christmas party supported by Poppy Legion in London for families and children of deployed personnel from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham serving in Cyprus.

   

Source: InCyprus

State aid: Commission approves Cypriot “ESTIA” scheme

 

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the Cypriot “ESTIA” scheme to support private households and micro-companies that have encountered difficulties in repaying mortgage loans and risk losing their primary residence. The scheme, which has an annual budget of around € 33 million, sets strict eligibility criteria in terms of the value of the primary residence and income of the borrower to ensure it is targeted at those in need.

According to a statement, rligible borrowers will receive a grant equivalent to one third of their monthly loan payment, provided that (i) their loans are secured against their primary residence; and (ii) they resume paying the other two thirds of their monthly payment. If the borrower stops servicing its loan, it is foreseen that the bank initiates the foreclosure of the property.

All participating banks will have to restructure the loans of eligible borrowers along the same requirements defined by the State. The Commission concluded that, with respect to individuals and micro companies, the measure does not involve any State aid. With respect to the banks that issued the loans, the Commission found that the scheme will provide an indirect advantage because it increases the amount of repayment the banks are likely to receive from the non-performing loans.

At the same time, the Commission's assessment showed that this indirect aid would not create undue distortions of competition because the aid is limited to what is necessary to achieve its objective of ensuring that borrowers do not lose the house in which they live. Moreover, since all mortgage lenders established in Cyprus are able to participate in the scheme, it is non-discriminatory among banks. The Commission has therefore concluded that the scheme is well-targeted and limited in time and scope as required by EU rules. Finally, the scheme is expected to contribute to reduce the high burden of non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking sector.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Economic sentiment up in November

Economic sentiment improved in Cyprus in November due mainly to services and retail trade.

In particular, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) which is compiled by the University of Cyprus Economic Research Centre (ERC) was up by 2.6% in November compared to October reaching 115.2 units.

“The increase was driven by stronger business confidence in services and retail trade,” the ERC points out.

According to the data the Services Confidence Indicator increased as a result of firms’ improved assessments of their past business situation and their past demand.

At the same time, the Retail Trade Confidence Indicator increased as respondents’ views on current stock volumes and future sales improved.

On the other hand, the Construction Confidence Indicator deteriorated due to firms’ less favourable assessments of their current level of order books, and downward revisions in employment expectations.

Likewise, the Industry Confidence Indicator recorded a drop due to a large downward revision in production expectations.

A drop in the Consumer Confidence Indicator was driven by downward revisions in consumers’ expectations about their future financial conditions and the future economic conditions in Cyprus, the ERC says.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Cyprus Airways and Blue Air Launch Code-Share Partnership

 

   
Cyprus Airways and Blue Air Launch Code-Share Partnership

Cyprus Airways and Romanian carrier Blue Air have entered into a codeshare partnership. From the 3rd December 2018, Cyprus Airways’ customers will be able to fly from Larnaca to London Luton, Athens, Thessaloniki and Bucharest through a codeshare agreement with Blue Air. The agreement will allow Cyprus Airways to sell tickets under its own flight code between Larnaca and above Blue Air operated destinations. Similarly, Blue Air will place its flight code on Cyprus Airways flights to Athens, Thessaloniki, Prague, Tel Aviv and Beirut. Other routes may be added in future.

With this code-share agreement, the two airlines’ customers will have the possibility to use more travel options and optimized flight schedules.

“We are delighted to team up with Blue Air. Thanks to this partnership, we can now offer our passengers new travel opportunities. This cooperation is fully aligned with our strategy to expand our network worldwide”, stated Natalia Popova, Chief Commercial Officer of Cyprus Airways. 

“This is a historic day for Blue Air and the Cypriot market as we begin the start of a prospective cooperation with Cyprus Airways. We are confident that this partnership will deliver massive benefits for our passengers, as our mutual goal is to unite families and friends. Additionally, our cooperation with Cyprus Airways will allow us to expand the travel options for our guests while keeping fares low at the highest quality standard.”, stated Tudor Constantinescu, Chief Commercial Officer of Blue Air.

Passengers can book their flights through:

•cyprusairways.com, Cyprus Airways Call Center (National toll free 8000 8111 or international on +357 24000053) or through their travel agent.  •blueairweb.com, Blue Air Call Center (National tool 9001 9010 or international on  +357 22755300) or through their travel agent.   Source: GoldNews

Total-Eni application for block 7

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism has announced a single application from joint venture Total E&P Cyprus B.V. / Eni Cyprus Limited, for a license to carry out explorations for hydrocarbons in block 7 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
 
In a press release, the Ministry refers to the timeframe for submitting applications, noting that it expired on November 26, with a single application being received from joint venture Total E&P Cyprus B.V. / Eni Cyprus Limited.
 
It adds that over the next few days the application will be examined by the Consultative Committee, which will prepare a report to be sent to the Minister of Energy.
 
Then, the Minister will present the proposal to the Council of Ministers, where decisions will be take.

 

Source: Stockwatch

DBRS upgraded Cyprus’ economy to investment grade

 

 

DBRS Ratings Limited (DBRS), in a Friday’s report, upgraded the Republic of Cyprus’s Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency – Issuer Ratings from BB to BBB (low) and its Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency – Issuer Ratings from R-4 to R-2 (middle). DBRS also changed the trend from Positive to Stable.

This is the third rating agency that upgrades Cyprus back to an investment grade, after Standard and Poor’s and Fitch.
 
According to DBRS the upgrade is driven by the material reduction in Cypriot banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs) in recent months, reflecting the government’s and the banks’ stepped up efforts. Together, the orderly liquidation of Cyprus Cooperative Bank and the banks’ sale of NPLs have almost halved the stock of the banking sector’s NPLs in 2018. While NPLs remain high, the agency adds, the decline in NPLs and a strengthened legal framework are reducing risks to financial stability.
 
The rating upgrade is also driven by the continued solid performance of the Cypriot economy. Cyprus is on track to post real GDP growth of close to 4.0% in 2018, among the strongest in the Euro area. Growth is driven by investment, consumption and exports of services, and follows a 4.2% in 2017.

In DBRS’s assessment, Cyprus’s credit fundamentals are now in line with investment grade, after recovering over the past few years. The ratings are supported by Cyprus’s solid budget position, its enhanced public debt management framework, its Eurozone membership fostering sustainable macroeconomic policies, and its openness to investment encouraging a favourable business environment. Nevertheless, it is added, Cyprus also faces significant credit challenges related to still sizable NPLs in the banking sector, still high levels of private and public sector debt, external imbalances, and the small size of its service-driven economy, which exposes Cyprus to adverse changes in external demand.

The Stable trend reflects DBRS’s view that risks to the ratings are currently broadly balanced.
 
As pointed out, the ratings could come under upward pressure from sustained healthy economic growth and sound fiscal position, which would contribute to the downward trajectory in the public debt ratio. Moreover, further progress in reducing banks’ NPLs and private sector debt and the strengthening of the banking sector would be positive for the ratings. However, the ratings could come under downward pressure in a period of significantly weak growth, combined with large fiscal imbalances or materialisation of large contingent liabilities. A reversal of the downward trajectory in NPLs could also be negative.

It also noted that Investor and depositor confidence have improved. After falling in Q1 2018, largely led by declines in non-resident deposits, total deposits in the banking system are growing again.
 
According to DBRS, Cyprus’s economic growth has remained robust in 2018. Real GDP grew by 4.0% year-on-year in the first half of the year. Growth has been broad-based, with construction, tourism, shipping, professional services, and manufacturing, making a contribution. Political Stability Supports the Government’s Capacity to Addressing Economic Challenges

The rating agency, also points out that Cyprus benefits from a stable political environment and institutions. As it notes, despite the government lacks a majority in the House of Representatives, and this could result in delays in adopting reforms. it managed to get approval of the legislation related to its strategy for the reduction of the NPLs in July 2018.

 

Source: Stockwatch

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